Organising a successful corporate event can be very stressful without a proper support structure in place. It involves careful planning and meticulous preparation – and one very crucial aspect of that is catering (aka the food). But what is corporate catering and is it really all that important?
In this blog post, we will explore the essential aspects of corporate event catering in Australia and provide insights to help you make informed decisions, such as determining the average cost per head, the ideal amount of food to serve, and whether to hire service staff to help with delivering the food.
What is Corporate Event Catering? Is it Important?
So, what is corporate event catering and is it really all that important? Isn’t it better to rush through the event so that everyone can get back to work?
Corporate event catering involves providing food and beverage services during business gatherings, conferences, seminars, or company functions.
It plays a vital role in enhancing the overall experience and satisfaction of attendees.
Well-executed catering can leave a lasting impression, contribute to a positive atmosphere, and foster networking opportunities.
The reality is, that corporate events can be exhausting! It doesn’t matter how much in the way of entertainment you include, expecting your attendees to remain engaged on an empty stomach is wishful thinking indeed.
Get those poor people fed!
What is the Average Cost Per Head at a Corporate Event in Australia? How much should I set aside for food?
Now, let’s talk money. How much does it cost, on average, per head, for corporate catering in Australia? What sort of budget will you need to set aside? Here’s what you need to know:
- The average cost per head at a corporate event in Australia can vary based on several different factors, such as the type of event, your location, chosen venue, menu selection, ingredients, and service level.
- On average, you can expect to allocate around AUD $20 to $70 per person for food at a corporate event. That said, it can be much higher depending on the quality of catering you are opting for. For example, $100 – $150+.
- However, it’s essential to consult with catering professionals to get accurate cost estimates based on your specific requirements. These are just rough guidelines to give you an idea of what to expect.
There are many moving parts when planning a corporate event, so it’s important that you budget well. Don’t neglect things like hiring an awesome audio-visual company for your event; but don’t undershoot for your catering budget either – it’s all about finding the ideal balance.
How Much Food Should You Serve at a Corporate Event? What style of catering is best suited to corporate functions?
How much food should be served? How much do you need to provide the average person with? Here are some important factors to consider:
- The amount of food to serve depends on the duration of the event, the time of day, and the type of catering service you choose.
- As a general guideline, plan for 4 to 6 canapés per person for a cocktail-style event, or 150 to 200 grams of protein (meat, fish, or poultry) per person for a seated meal.
- Buffet or plated meals are commonly preferred for corporate events, as they allow guests to enjoy a variety of dishes while maintaining a professional atmosphere.
Remember, it’s advised that you speak with your chosen catering company in advance and they can help you settle on an appropriate amount of food. It’s better to go a little over and have plenty of food for everyone, as opposed to undershoot it and have some of your guests go hungry.
Should I Hire Service Staff as Well? Is it rude to expect attendees to serve themselves? Or are there benefits to self-service/buffet-style catering?
Another common question is whether you should hire service staff as well when booking a catering company for your corporate event. For example, would it be rude to expect your guests to serve themselves? Here are some important considerations that can help you decide:
- Hiring service staff for a corporate event is highly recommended, as it ensures a seamless and professional experience for your guests.
- Expecting attendees to serve themselves can create a casual atmosphere (great for networking events), but it may not be suitable for all corporate events.
- The benefits of hiring service staff include:
- Efficient food and beverage service.
- Attention to detail.
- The ability to handle any special requests.
- Ensuring a positive and stress-free experience for both you and your attendees.
Ultimately, it all comes down to your preferences and the type of corporate event you are putting on. Again, if you are hosting a networking event, a buffet / self-service style catering approach can encourage guests to mingle and chat. However, if you are hosting a gala / awards-style ceremony, a sit-down meal might be more appropriate.
Speak with your chosen caterer for further inspiration and advice.
Let’s have a quick recap of what we’ve learned:
- Corporate event catering involves providing food and beverage services during business gatherings, conferences, seminars, or company functions.
- The average cost per head for corporate catering can vary between $40 and $70 AUD per head, upwards of $100 – $150 depending on:
- The type of event.
- Your location.
- The chosen venue.
- Your chosen catering company.
- The quality of ingredients.
- The time of year.
- Menu selection.
- Service level.
- You should provide enough food so that every attendee can eat and feel satisfied (4 to 6 canapés each, minimum).
- Hiring service staff is recommended for certain corporate events. However, self-service / buffet-style catering is also a very popular choice, especially at the more casual networking events.
We hope you’ve found this article helpful and wish you the very best of luck with planning your corporate event. There are plenty of reputable and affordable catering services in Australia to choose from, so do your due diligence, put plenty of research in, and go with your gut (pun intended).